"We have defined health as tension towards harmony," explained the president of the pontifical council, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, in the written presentation of the event.
"Exploring this concept, in this 20th International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers we will address the beginning of this tension, a beginning that marks health throughout life -- the human genome," he said.
"This is a very broad topic and to a large extent subject to new research and discovery," the cardinal added. "Our aims are modest and we will try to study this subject solely from the specific perspective of health, which, for that matter, is an all-embracing reality. We will lay stress on the therapeutic aspect."
Cardinal Lozano Barragán will open the working sessions of the international conference with an address on the "Origin of Life and Theology."
The first session will be presided over by Father Angelo Serra, retired professor of human genetics, of the School of Medicine of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Rome.
Other scheduled speakers include Dr. George Robert Fraser, a member of the Royal College of Physicians, London; Dr. Clotilde Mircher, of the Lejeune Foundation, Paris; and Aubrey Milunsky, director of the Center for Human Genetics at the Boston University School of Medicine.
The minutes of the conference are to be published in May 2006.
For more information, see www.healthpastoral.org.